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RE: eval-after-load not harmful after all (Was: Re: Why js-2mode?)

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: RE: eval-after-load not harmful after all (Was: Re: Why js-2mode?)
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 23:06:40 +0900

Drew Adams writes:
 > sjt wrote:

 > > I note that all the advocates of e-a-l are package maintainers and UI
 > > types; all the deprecators are core.  This is an inherent tension, and
 > > I think it should be resolved in favor of protecting the core.
 > Nothing wrong with "protecting the core".
 > The discussion was about the Elisp manual, whose target audience is
 > not just maintainers of the Emacs core. The help and guidance there
 > are used by a variety of programmer-users.
 > Again, there's nothing wrong with (a) giving a general guideline,
 > and also (b) explaining the issues and giving additional info about
 > contexts where the guideline might not be something you would want
 > to follow.

Yes, there is.  If the manual says "use this feature only when
appropriate," people with a biased view of Emacs (ie,
my-package-centric, as opposed to core-centric) are naturally going to
overuse the feature.  IMO, it's worth leaning against the wind by
documenting the semantics of the feature and the caution against using
it in the core, perhaps with a gloss like "since in the core we can
usually change both libraries to cooperate more closely".  Those who
really want to use the feature will do so anyway, or ask here.

Note that all of the examples given so far of "why I would want to use
eval-after-load" have been pretty dubious, so there's no positive "you
might want to use `eval-after-load' when ..." advice to offer anyway.

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